Stuck in Perth with no way out (updated 10.40 pm WST)


Charles Pauka


The world-travelled volcano ash cloud has once again created havoc on air travel around southern Australia, with Qantas cancelling all flights in and out of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Jetstar, Virgin and Tiger are similarly affected.


Qantas says its flights to and from Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney have been cancelled for part of Wednesday 22 June 2011 as a result of ash from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano.


Qantas has updated its schedule for Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 June 2011 following a further assessment of operating conditions (all times local)

  • Services to and from Melbourne will be suspended from 2100 tonight and resume at 1100 Wednesday morning.

  • Services to and from Sydney are suspended and will resume at 1400 Wednesday afternoon.

  • Services to and from Adelaide are suspended and will resume at 0500 Wednesday.

  • Services to and from Canberra are suspended and will resume at 1100 Wednesday.

  • Services to and from Hobart will be suspended from midnight and will reopen at 1700 Wednesday.

  • Services to and from New Zealand will be suspended from 0700 Wednesday local time until further notice.

International services to and from Sydney and Melbourne on Wednesday 22 June, including trans-Tasman flights, will be delayed in light of the impact on these ports.


Jetstar is expected to follow suit with Qantas.


Virgin has cancelled all flights in and out of Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Mildure, Melbourne and Adelaide. Virgin Australia will commence services on Wednesday from:

  • Adelaide from 07.00am (ACST)

  • Melbourne from 12.00pm (AEST)

  • Canberra from 3.00pm (AEST)

  • Sydney from 3.00pm (AEST)

Tiger has grounded all its aircraft.


Meanwhile, your devoted reporter is stuck in Perth with no way out, having been booked on a flight that was cancelled this afternoon. The next train is not until the weekend, bus services are few and full, and a one-way car rental is prohibitively expensive. As it will take airlines a few days to clear the backlog, our readers may receive a few more reports from the bustling West.


The disruption brings back memories of last year’s Icelandic volcano disruption, when I was stuck in Dublin for several days and ended up undertaking an epic 40-hour bus, ferry and train journey to Budapest – normally a flight of less than two hours’ duration.


And now it’s time to go and find a comfortable bridge somewhere for the night…

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